Beneath Your Beautiful

Page 16

"Dammit," I yell, hitting my steering wheel and turning the key in the ignition. I don't think twice about flooring it when my tires spin on the asphalt. I know she was upset when she ran out of the locker rooms but hell, I didn't think it would hurt her this much.
Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
It takes us ten minutes to get to Huntley's apartment block. I pull into the parking lot and Brody grabs my arm before I can jump out. "Wait Grayson, I need to tell you something." His face flickers with concern. "Remember when I told you Coach warned us to stay away from Huntley?" he asks.
"I wasn't completely honest. Coach didn't say anything about us staying away from her. In fact, he asked us to keep an eye on her," he looks down. "I'm sorry I lied, but I saw the way you looked at her and the last time you looked at a girl that way," he looks back up at me, meeting my gaze, "she ripped you apart. I can't watch you go through that again man."
Under normal circumstances I would be pissed that he lied, but right now I know he was looking out for me.
"I get it bro, but we need to talk about this later." I nod, a silent agreement between us that he's forgiven, and we jump out the car. I race through the front doors and ignore the guy from campus security yelling at us in the lobby. We take the stairs two at a time until we hit the fifth floor. Demi is waiting outside Huntleys' apartment, tears streaming down her face. She looks scared.
"Oh thank God," she says, running straight into Brody's arms. He wraps his arms around her and starts rubbing her back, whispering soothing assurances. Their exchange astounds me. On a good day they can't have a decent conversation without yelling at each other. This is weird.
Demi calms down and hesitantly pulls away from Brody. She scowls at me, anger radiating from her tiny little body. Demi has always been a firecracker, but if looks could kill I'd be a pile of ashes.
"What the hell did you do Grayson?" she shrieks, a few more tears slipping down her cheeks. Dammit, I've really screwed up.
"What did Huntley tell you?" I ask carefully. I don't need to upset her more than she already is.
"She phoned me in complete hysterics! She said something about seeing you in the locker rooms and then mumbled something else before we got cut off. I've been trying to get her to open up for the last thirty minutes." Brody turns to wipe her face and she looks up at him, a small smile tugging at her lips. They're definitely acting weird.
I knock on the door and listen for any sounds of movement. Nothing.
I knock louder. "Huntley, open the door!"
Still nothing. Shit.
I bang on the door, feeling it vibrate through my hand. "Huntley, if you don't open this door I'm gonna kick the fucking thing down!" I yell.
When there still isn't any response I take a step back. Brody moves, pushing Demi behind him. My foot makes contact with the door followed by a loud snap. The doors' lock breaks and it swings open.
I walk into the dark apartment slowly, listening for anything suspicious. Turning to face the hallway, I see a figure on the floor in what I assume to be the main bedroom. As I move closer I realize it's Huntley, she's curled into a ball on the floor. Panic hits and I almost run the short distance, kneeling beside her when I get to her room.
Demi and Brody aren't far behind. Demi walks in and switches a bedside lamp on, illuminating Huntley's tiny body. Her face is red and tear-stained, with her hair sticking to her cheeks. As her chest moves up and down her breathing is shallow. I move slightly, and she stirs, but doesn't quite wake up. I slip my arm under her legs and then her arms, lifting her off the hard floor and moving her to the bed . She makes a soft sound and clutches my shirt in her small fists. "I'll grab a blanket," Demi whispers. I lay Huntley down and slowly pry my shirt free of her vice grip. Her eyes flutter open and she looks straight at me. Her eyes pierce mine and I can see how red they are, their blue color slightly dull and almost lifeless. I want to know what made her cry so that I can fix it.
"What's going on?" she croaks. Demi hands me the blanket and I take a seat on the bed next to her, carefully pulling the blanket over her.
"Demi has been trying to reach you for the last half hour. She's been standing outside your apartment and when you didn't answer she called us," I say, my voice straining slightly. She lifts herself into a seated position and looks at us, not saying a word.
"Grayson," Demi whispers, "Let me talk to her alone. Why don't you and Brody go to the living room?"
I look at Huntley, searching her eyes for God knows what, the look on her face unreadable. Dammit. I squeeze her hand once and leave the room with Brody. Demi moves to close the bedroom door and just like that we're thrown into silence. "Fuck!" I whisper-yell as I slump onto the couch. Brody takes a seat next to me and I push both my hands through my hair in frustration.
"Don't beat yourself up over this Gray," Brody says. I know he means well but until I know why she's so upset I'll blame myself.
"How can I not? When she left the locker rooms earlier she was upset because of me".
Brody doesn't reply and we sit in the silent darkness for what feels like forever. I keep running through the last month and wonder when I started caring about her so much. I tried avoiding her, tried staying away because I knew what would happen after the first time I saw her. It's only happened to me once before and when it ended I was left to pick up the pieces of my life. Alone. I can't risk it again. But I'd be lying if I said there wasn't something more pulling me towards Huntley. Something about her.
The sound of footsteps pull me from my recurring thoughts and I look up to find Demi standing in front of me, arms folded over her chest. She looks pissed.
"Is she ok?" I ask, making no attempt to hide the fact that Huntley scared the shit out of me.
Demi glares at me and then sits on the coffee table directly in front of me. "She's fine. I gave her some pain killers for her headache and she's sleeping now."
I breathe a sigh of relief and rest my elbows on my knees. "Good."
"What the hell were you thinking Grayson?" Demi asks angrily.
"Now don't be getting involved Dem, this doesn't concern us," Brody intercedes before I can respond. This is not good. When these two start fighting it takes nothing short of a damn hurricane to get them to stop. I swear they're in love and just won't admit it.
"The hell I won't! Did you not see what a mess we found her in?" Demi's voice raises a few octaves and her drawl becomes more prominent the angrier she gets. "I know it wasn't all Grayson's fault, but that little stunt he pulled today certainly didn't help!"
"Don't act like Huntley's completely innocent in this! She was there too!" Brody snaps.
I can't deal with this. My head is already at war with itself, the last thing I need is to add Brody and Demi's impending fight. I stand up and walk to Huntley's bedroom. I just need to see her, make sure she's alright, more so for myself. I push the door open quietly and walk until I'm standing next to her side of the bed. She looks peaceful, her long black eyelashes resting on her cheeks and her chest moving rhythmically.

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